Ugh. I re-downloaded Tinder.
This is a stupid idea considering that I was actually banned from it because I was using it to recruit people for my matchmaking job. So I created a fake Facebook and attempted to get a date to Tinderball - our Valentine's Day event that somewhat felt like a high school dance. Similarities:
- find a date from another school! People in your school SUCK! (Anyone other than RY people can come as your date because rules!)
- pay for your date because they're from another school! (Pay for your date because it includes open bar and that way, it doesn't even matter if you end up liking them or not because alcohol!)
- have FUN with this, it's not serious! (take this WAY too seriously and overthink even coming at all!)
Pretty sure a lot of people found Tinderball overwhelming, but I tried to take it as a chance to become Tinderella. The shoe did not fit. I tried. I failed. Re-downloading the app only comes with my 20 left swipes to 1 right, followed by a "que bonita" from another random expat traveller who happens to be in the city for a week. Conversation and attraction are two very difficult things to come by together, much less alone - the hotter the dude, the worse the conversation. This applies to all sexes and orientations; here, just take a look at this handy graph:
This got me thinking a lot about dating and travelling. They don't mix, yet they do. You can meet your future significant other while traveling, but you shouldn't. Or should you? You can date the best person while traveling, but it can turn ugly quickly. But think about the experiences you would share! Every time I think about this topic my brain turns to baby food - why is every sentence a contradiction in my head?
This post is about LuV, y'all. Dating while traveling (and on Remote Year) is weird. Do you embrace it or rule it out completely? Open yourself up to heartache and possible success or close yourself off and be completely selfish? You've got people you're traveling with, slowly getting to know and love - for me, it's a learning experience - being attracted to things you never knew you were attractive to you is pretty cool. And sometimes, regardless of circumstance, your feelings get the best of you and you may find yourself drunk at 4 AM (or sober at 4 PM) wanting to grab someone's face and make out with it. Don't do it. Or do?
ME: DO IT U SHOULD B CRAZY Y NOT UR SPONTANEOUS YOLO
ME (2 seconds later): NA TACOS SOUND BETTER and also that's weird you're weird stop it
ME: (4 seconds later) WAIT...HOW DRUNK AM I?
ME (6 seconds later): TACOS B4 BROS BAI GUYZ
*marries a plate of al pastor*
I'm not sure. I haven't figured it out yet, but I've noticed that I definitely have kept my distance when it comes to getting too close to anyone, romantically and even in some cases platonically. Which is very unlike me. Or is it? (Y'all can ignore the fact that I'm talking to myself in my head. And typing it out on the internet.)
And let's talk about this: dating within the group. Though many people in our group have found significant others and have ended up dating, I find it both exhilarating and unrealistic to think about the future. Hook-ups, dating, weird orgies thanks to a slack channel - they all happen. (Maybe minus the latter.) My mind is in constant limbo about it (well constant being right now minus an hour, the moment I started to think and write about it.)
Sure, we should live in the present! Just DO it! We all just hopped on a plane with 65 strangers and said it was cool, so why NOT?! Date whoever, kiss whoever, f whoever, in the group or not! ...meh. I don't know. The tinge of reality in the back of my mind keeps urging me to say one thing and do another. And while my spontaneity may be what I'm known for in terms of travel, it has somehow not translated to the dating portion of my life. Perhaps because it's non-existent, but who's to say? Even when it comes to meeting random people who I may never see again, I question if it's worth my time to pursue.
Maybe I'm scared. Maybe I'm too afraid to face the fact that dating sucks. Maybe I'm jaded thanks to my new job as a matchmaker. Maybe I'm just horny and need to buy a fun pink toy and stop perusing over it. (This is v possible.)
Either way, I can't help but think that as much as I've changed on this journey, I've also stayed the same. Have I always been like this? I remember when I used to be dared to kiss random people at the bars (why this was I am not sure) - and I would succeed, thinking nothing of it, probably getting slut-shamed from the boring girl in the corner. AM I THE BORING GIRL IN THE CORNER NOW?
I feel like I'm the person who watches a rom com and actually believes that it could be my life. No, I'm not going to take off my non-prescribed glasses and paint-smudged overalls and magically become a sex pot to the star quarterback. (Looking at you, She's All That.) But I definitely think that preferences change constantly. Which is one of the reasons that I'm SO glad I didn't go and get married "young" - while I'm SO SO happy for my friends who are happily together forever so help them god, part of me is so grateful to still be free and open to anything and everything. Yet, with an approach like this,
how am I of all people to know what's best for me?
I don't even know what I'm doing with my life. I know what I like: travel, new experiences, meeting people, making them smile, laugh, feel things. It's the reason I went into advertising, the reason I love improv and stand-up, the reason I love to sing and play piano, and now it's becoming the reason I love to travel. And beyond that, I know what I think I like; or, what I thought I liked; the big cities that once captured my heart through Pinterest boards and Facebook check-ins via other travellers are now on the back burner thanks to unexpected visits to countries that would have never been on my radar (had it not been for Remote Year.) Bulgaria, sweet sweet Bulgaria: sup? So I ask myself: Does the same thing go for who I date? Am I going to change monthly looking for more or less of something? Am I afraid of disappointing someone? Am I too selfish fostering other relationships that I refuse to let someone else in?
Is that a taco over there? Is someone gonna eat it?
Yes it is, and yes I will. Sorry. I get bored quickly, even when it comes to talking about my own feelings.
And to think, all this self-reflection, brought to you by Tinder. Which reminds me, I should probably delete that. How's y'alls luck with Bumble?
Professional writer, designer, and do-it-aller. Remote Year citizen/alum. Currently living in San Francisco and probably trying to avoid the terrifying amounts of pigeons.